Houston mayor turns to bloggers for help rolling out city WiFi plan


Houston’s mayor Bill White has a plan for rolling out city-wide WiFi.  If the plan becomes a reality it will be the largest such WiFi roll out to date covering over 600 square miles.  City departments will get free WiFi while citizens are expected to pay a "low cost" for the service, which will literally cover the entire city using over 18,000 access points.  The city has solicited bids to build the network and the mayor is stumping for approval in a unique way.  Last night he sat on the front steps of city hall with a Tablet PC and had a chat with 35 invited Houston bloggers to solicit feedback and suggestions for the big plan.  This type of recognition for blogging and how we can provide sound input to city government is certainly unique and something I hope will continue.  TechBlog has all the information about the chat.  Michael Garfield, the "High-tech Texan" hosted the live chat for the mayor using his HP tc4200 Tablet PC and was happy to report the Tablet handled the 4+ hour event on battery power with no problems.  Mute your speakers before going to Michael’s site if you are at work as he has audio that automatically plays and you cannot turn it off.




Jason Dorko

That’s great news for Houston but in terms of the largest WiFi roll out I think my County has it beat! I actually just posted about it today! Our plan is already in effect and taking place right before my eyes! I was able to connect (but not sign on yet) today and noticed the network in many near CITIES! By Summer 2006 the pilot program will begin (I can’t wait!) and by 2007 all 910 square miles of Oakland County will have wireless access for FREE! There will be a fee-based service for faster connection but who can complain about 910 square miles of free wireless! I’ll make sure to post updates as I hear more!


any place i can get details on this? is it going to spread to the outskirts like Sugarland, Rosenberg, etc? what’s the price/speed structure?


The Houston plan is particularly ambitious given the size of the city. Anywhere WiFi must be a joy to behold. :)


I was pleasantly suprised to be in Corpus Christi recently and they have already rolled out a city wide wifi mesh. This is great stuff!

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